Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Spanning history

A new bridge across the Thames linking two Surrey towns is the first new vehicle crossing over the river for 20 years. NCE reports.

Walton_on_Thames_bridge

Striking distance: The thrust arch design has a clear span of 90m

The first new vehicle crossing point to be built across the Thames for 20 years is taking shape as a Costain team spans the river between Walton-on-Thames and Shepperton.

The area has been served for many years by two bridges that were intended to be temporary links. A road bridge was built in the 1950s as a replacement for a war-damaged structure. It now caters purely for pedestrians and cyclists, while another temporary bridge that opened in 1999 carries road traffic.

The contract for the new bridge was originally awarded by Surrey County Council in 2005 but the project has been the subject of two public inquiries and was put on hold during a government spending review. Costain started detailed design for the final time in 2011, with some advance works getting underway the same year and actual construction starting in January 2012.

The bridge’s design is known as a thrust arch - similar to the more familiar bowstring arch. The striking arches have recently been put in place. When complete, the bridge will have a clear span of 90m, but this figure rises to 148m when taking into account the entire structure and links in to existing roads.

Technical challenges, says Costain project manager Andy Bannister, include poor ground conditions on the Walton-on-Thames side of the river. Costain will build a separate viaduct over a flood plain to link up with the bridge itself.

Other factors to be negotiated include the presence of the Thames Pathway, which goes through the job site. “There’s a huge public and business interface,” says Bannister.

The bridge is due to be handed over in summer 2013. The old bridges will then be demolished, with final tie-in works and landscaping to be completed in spring 2014.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.